• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Nearly a third of UK Police officers plan to quit in next two years

Nearly a third of UK Police officers plan to quit in next two years

Around a third of Metropolitan Police officers plan to resign in the next two years, as a shock new survey suggests morale has hit rock bottom with some “struggling to put food on the table”.

Nine in ten said they feel “worse off” financially now than they were five years ago, and 22 per cent “never” or “almost never” had enough money to cover essentials.

For colleagues in City of London Police, covering the Square Mile, it was a similar finding, according to union leaders in the capital.

Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley says his force is facing a “deeply concerning” shortfall in officer numbers amid recruitment struggles, with public sector pay levels an issue.

The Met workforce will be 2,650 smaller by March 2025 at current application levels.

Sir Mark wants to see a “sizeable change” to the London weighting allowance to help attract more to the force, possibly raising it by around £2,000.

According to the 2023 Police Federation of England and Wales pay and morale report published on Wednesday, 29 per cent of Met officers who responded said they intend to quit the service either “within the next two years” or “as soon as [they] can”.

Rick Prior, acting chair of the Met rank-and-file branch, argued that while police officers received a seven per cent pay rise in 2023, they have still seen a 16 per cent real-terms cut over the past 12 years.

The survey – based on 5,946 responses – also found 97 per cent do not feel respected by the Government and 84 per cent would not recommend joining the police to others.

Mr Prior added: “Police officers need to be properly paid for the difficult and dangerous role we perform.

“We need to revert to the time when being a police officer was a lifelong vocation with decent pay and conditions, not a short-term job where officers struggle to put food on the table.”

Fourteen per cent of Met officers suffered one or more injuries that required medical attention as a result of work-related violence in the last year.

Four in five experienced feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety or other health and wellbeing struggles.

Suzanne Ferris, secretary of the City of London federation, said: “This was the highest ever response rate and demonstrates the strength of feeling about our pay and morale.

“With an astounding 25 per cent of City of London Police Officers looking to leave policing in the next two years, it just shows how badly let down they have been.

“Indeed, officers state that the single biggest effect on their intention to leave, is how they are treated by the Government.

“Their pay, pension and conditions have been consistently attacked and the public need to understand that the service to both the public and victims of crime will decline, with such a loss of experience.”